Chief intelligence officers at GCHQ first introduced the idea of a "ghost protocol" back in November 2018. Instead of breaking message encryption – a move that Apple faced with the FBI over 2016 – the technique would send a copy of the message to a third party ( in this case the government) as an email CC.
The letter's signatories ̵
The issue of public access to civic communication is widespread everywhere, although it recently took Australia's focus, when the government adopted its controversial access and assistance post in 2018. This gives the government the right to demand access to encrypted forms of communication and companies that refuse to cooperate, may receive fines of up to $ 7.3 million. GCHQ's ghost protocol muddy the water somewhat, as it does not require access to encrypted messages, but intends to bypass encryption altogether – yet it continues the complicated call around the user's privacy.
In response to the open letter, National Cyber Security Center told CNBC, "We welcome this response to our request for thoughts of exceptional access to data – for example, to stop terrorists. The hypothetical proposal was always meant as a starting point for discussion. to engage with interested parties and look forward to having an open discussion to reach the best possible solutions. "